Well, I Started Dating a Witch the Week Before Halloween (#51)


Before I go into the meta, this week’s puzzle is my Halloween entry! And, to keep celebrating the season, feel free to flashback to last year’s Halloween puzzle

Anyway, let’s go over last week’s meta.

This puzzle was looking for an appropriate eight-letter word that relates to this tribute puzzle.

As it should have been clear, the topic of this tribute puzzle is “Back To The Future”, which was in the news last week as Delorean-solutionOctober 21st, 2015 was the setting of part of “Back To The Future II”.

17A: [Popular 1985 film that begins and ends in the year 1985] = BACK TO THE FUTURE
23A: [Protagonist of 17-Across] = MARTY MCFLY
47A: [Antagonist of 17-Across] = BIFF TANNEN
58A: [Event critical to 17-Across] = HIGH SCHOOL DANCE

Also, the final theme entry to this puzzle was found in the dead center:
39A: [Important feature of a crossword puzzle or to a 58-Across] = THEME

So, of course the the theme to the crossword puzzle is BTTF, but the important part is finding the theme of the HIGH SCHOOL DANCE. As Doc would say, the “rhythmic ceremonial ritual” that got George and Lorraine back together was “Enchantment Under the Sea”.

That dance theme is now the important part of this crossword, as the name “Under the Sea” can be reworked as the pun “Under the C”.

As many of you saw, there are exactly 8 Cs found in this puzzle, and if you look “under the C”, the eight letters spell, from left-to-right, the name DELOREAN, the glorious car that Doc Brown turned into the time machine, and the answer to this meta puzzle.


Guys, last Wednesday was Back to the Future Day! And, it was my birthday! The fates aligned. To celebrate, I wore this shirt, which has my birthday on it.


And my birthday cake featured a design that made the day even better.


What a glorious day! Remember that USC Puzzle Hunt I talked about all those months ago? Well, the theme of this year’s Hunt involved a series of movies that should seem obvious at this point. Here’s the link for more evidence.


And, that let me cosplay as an important person in science history, during the opening kickoff.


What a glorious day it was. Back to the Future Day has now come and gone, and it makes me kind of sad that the BTTF is now in a period piece. My intention for last week’s puzzle to be both a tribute puzzle and a meta puzzle, and I like to think I accomplished it. I hope I did the two Bobs proud.

So, 21 readers submitted “DeLorean”. Congrats to those who got it! This week’s randomly selected winner was Charles Montpetit. He will join Jon Delfin, John L. Wilson, Jim Quinlan, Eric Maddy, Andy Keller, David Cole, Roger Barkan, Patricia Miga, and Erik Agard in a future section of the site. Congrats Charles!

Finally, thanks to Ben Johnston for blogging about last week’s puzzle on the new New Grids on the Block website. Thanks Ben!

That’s all I got this week. The future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.



Meta: That’s the Power of Love (#50)


Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 50! Chris Words celebrates its golden anniversary, and it’s exciting that the blog has now gone through 10 full cycles of puzzles.

October 21st, 2015 is a great day for a bunch of people, mostly me, since I turn 23 this week. And, it’s also the anniversary of something that’s bigger than all of us. It’s THAT day, people. The day we’ve been waiting for now for YEARS. And since this puzzle’s number ends with a 0 or 5, it’s time for a meta.

For this tenth meta of the blog, I’m looking for an appropriate eight-letter word that relates to this tribute puzzle. When you think you have it, email me at cking.gow(at)gmail.com with your answer. I’ll accept answers all the way to noon ET on Saturday.

In puzzle news:

1- The Buzzfeed crossword just finished its first week of puzzles. A great slate of puzzles, that certainly seem to be a little less aggressive than the opening puzzle Caleb gave us (not that there was anything wrong with that!). Constructors for Week 1 included Neville Fogarty, Andrew Ries, and Jeffrey Harris, and I look forward to see what other puzzle stalwarts will make their listicle debut this next week.

2- A new crossword blog is now online, titled New Grids on the Block. Led by Lena Webb, Ben Johnston, Michael Sharp, Erin Milligan-Milburn, and Peter Broda, this new website essentially is the equivalent of Crossword Fiend for those puzzles who are published each week and aren’t in the print media. It’ll be covering the Buzzfeed crossword, all the puzzles published by my colleagues and friends here on the web, and will excitedly be covering Chris Words. This week’s meta won’t go discussed until next Saturday, but I’m looking forward to seeing how they react. Hopefully, well.

Thanks everyone, and enjoy the puzzle. Be sure to email me your answer!


The Crying Alot (#49)

Hello everyone, and welcome to Week 49!

If it wasn’t obvious, this puzzle’s theme comes from the number puzzle it is, and I’m glad I got to incorporate one of my favorite books “The Crying of Lot 49” as a puzzle. The theme comes from the title, and I hope you’ll enjoy this week’s puzzle. And hopefully it won’t be as confusing as the book.

In other news:

1) Puzzle Boat 3 has set sail! For those of you who are on teams, good luck! I was lucky enough to playtest some of the puzzles, and there’s a wide sample of everything. Hope all of you are able to make it to the end!

2) In case you haven’t seen the ad on Crossword Fiend yet, fellow young-person K(ameron) Austin Collins is launching a biweekly themeless puzzle series. I’ve added his name to the Blogroll for this site, and you can go straight to his frontpage [here]. Be sure to subscribe!

3) What a week for SC. The state of South Carolina has been hit by a series of floods that has put much of the state without drinking water, loss of property for thousands and thousands of people, and has sadly caused 17 deaths for fellow South Carolinians.

I live on campus proper at USC, and I’m fortunate enough to say that I never saw in person much of the damage. The university is located in one of the higher spots of Columbia and doesn’t feature a river too close, so the campus was mostly fine. But Columbia was shot. Neighborhoods evacuated, dams breaking, and houses and cars totaled. The main thing that has affected campus is the lack of drinking water, with the citywide caution that water should be “boiled vigorously”. Bottled water has been passed out on campus, and I’ve seen efforts of rescue and assistance by Columbia people on the news. My brother and I stayed on campus until Tuesday midday, when word came down that classes had been cancelled for the rest of the week, where we then went back home, to our parents’ request.

Today, I’m going back to USC, and I hope to help out the community and campus as much as I can for the next few weeks, as I know we’ll need it.

For those of you living in the other 49 states, continue to keep our state and people in your thoughts, and there are lots of ways you can donate to charities creating relief effort, if you are inclined to do so.

Thanks everyone, and I’ll see you next week for the meta puzzle and 50th puzzle!


Themeless Ten (#48)


Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 48!

Back from the week off, and my cousin got married as intended. While at the church, I gave my brother 300:1 odds on a standup at the altar. Now he owes me $2.

Quick announcements:

1) The first reveal of the BuzzFeed crossword was earlier this week. The sample puzzle was by constructor and BuzzFeed crossword editor-in-chief Caleb Madison, and can be found [here]. The fill is certainly clean, but as BuzzFeed is trying to reach a certain demographic, it don’t hurt to know about 2000s/2010s TV, movies, music, and Internet. Also, the clues are more sentency than your usual puzzle. Still, give it a solve, and see what you know / can figure out from context!

2) Chris Words is now a little over a year old! Puzzle #1 went online September 21st, and now I’ve made 47 other puzzles for all of you people to enjoy, plus all the bonus material that Chris Words has had to offer. I don’t really count #48 as my big anniversary, since I like round numbers to do those for me. But still, I’m pleased to see how far my puzzle-making ability has come from making this blog, and how much all of you have enjoyed them. Thanks everyone!

Enjoy the puzzle!